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Welsh Field Ambulance


Darn
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As I try to discover information on my Grandfather's life (lived in Newport, South Wales) I have found that he joined the 2/4th Welsh Field Ambulance. I've tried to Google the name but without a great deal of success. Would one of the members kindly point me in the right direction to where I can find details of this unit and their movements during the period?

Many thanks,

David

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Hello David

Are you sure it was 2/4th? There were three Field Ambulances in each division: 1/1. 1/2 and 1/3 Welsh FAs served with 53rd (Welsh) Division at Gallipoli, Egypt and Palestine, and 2/1, 2/2 and 2/3 formed part of 68th (2/Welsh) Division which remained in the UK throughout the war.

Ron

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Ron,

Thanks for your prompt response, it's appreciated. I've been able to retrieve a number of records from the National Archive which all appear to carry the stamp of 2/4th Welsh F.A. and I've enclosed a clipping from one to show you.

Regards,

David

post-28152-1195734143.jpg

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Hello David.

Do you have a service number ? That may help to discover his service.

Was your Grandfather a member of the Royal Army Medical Corps ?

I wonder whether the "2/4th F A Bde" actually refers to the 4th Welsh Royal Field Artillery Brigade.

Gareth

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I wonder whether the "2/4th F A Bde" actually refers to the 4th Welsh Royal Field Artillery Brigade.

Gareth

David/Gareth

It is definitely 2/4th Welsh Field Artillery Brigade. This served only in the UK, in 68th Division and was later numbered as 343 Brigade Royal Field Artillery.

Ron

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Gentlemen,

Excellent, thank you very much. For the sake of completeness I believe the Regimental number to be 1602. Can you recommend a good site where I can trace the movements of this Brigade.

Regards,

David

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Gentlemen,

Excellent, thank you very much. For the sake of completeness I believe the Regimental number to be 1602. Can you recommend a good site where I can trace the movements of this Brigade.

Regards,

David

David,

The original pre-War units of the 4th Welsh Brigade RFA (TF) were the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Monmouthshire Batteries based respectively at Newport, Risca, and Griffithstown. Just after the outbreak of war in 1914 (31st August onwards) all these units formed "Second Lines" as reserve formations. The "First Line" (1/4th) Brigade took an active Home Defence role and prepared for service overseas. The "Second Line" (2/4th) Bde. comprised the 2/1st, 2/2nd, and 2/3rd Monmouths. Batteries, & included men who did not undertake to serve overseas, those over or under age, or unfit for overseas service. They also took in new recruits and others surplus to requirements for the First Line, or who were deemed to be better employed in the reserve formation.

The 1/4th Bde. eventually went off to Gallipoli and Palestine with the 53rd (Welsh) Division (TF). The 68th (2nd Welsh) Divn. was officially formed in January 1915 and concentrated at its War station at Northampton in April. The 2/4th Brigade RFA moved from there to Redhill in Aug 1915. They had great difficulty equipping their units with sufficient weaponry etc. and training was disrupted by the need to send fresh drafts of soldiers to replace losses in the First Line units.

The artillery had no guns, horses, or saddlery as late as the end of May 1915. Saddlery & horses began to arrive in June-July, and each RFA Brigade received four x 90mm guns in August. Ammo. wagons and more guns arrived in Sept-Oct , but the guns were returned in November, when the 2/4th Bde. moved to Bedford on 3 November and took over 12 x 15-pounder guns, wagons and equipment left by the 2/1st Cheshire Bde RFA. On 21 November the Bde moved to Elstow. They became part of First Army, Central Force. Finally, during 11-15 December 1915 the Brigade received 12 of the standard 18-pounder guns, limbers, 36 x ammo. wagons and ammunition and the older cannon were discarded.

In May 1916 the 2/4th Welsh brigade RFA was reorganised as the 343rd Brigade, and the Batteries lettered A, B, and C. To these were added D (Howitzer) Battery; <which was formerly B (How.) Bty. of 340th Brigade, and in an earlier existence the 2/2nd Glamorgan (How.) Bty. of 2/1st Welsh Bde. RFA>

By September 1916 the 68th Division became part of General Reserve, Home Forces, and was spread from Bedford to Lowestoft, Orford, Bungay etc. The artillery were stationed at Austin Cannon, Old Warden, and Howbury. By May 1917 the Division was part of Northern Army, Home Forces (Army HQ at Norwich), and the artillery Summer station was at Huntingdon and Flixton. That August two RFA brigades moved to Herringfleet and Halesworth. That winter (part of XXIII Corps) their station was at Langley and Harleston.

With the arrival of Spring 1918 Divn. HQ was at Bungay and the RFA moved to Herringfleet and Henham. By the end of the War in November 1918 the artillery was at Herringfleet and Harleston. Artillery disbandment began on 6 January 1919, and the 68th Divn. had disappeared by March.

Cheers,

LST_164

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